Buddhist Audio Books

The Rainbow road
From Tooting Broadway to Kalimpong: Memoirs of an English Buddhist
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 0904766942
Read by Subhadra

This is the first set of memoirs by Sangharakshita. Set out on the Rainbow Road and take an extraordinary journey from wartime London to the dusty villages, ashrams and mountain caves of India. Long before thousands of Westerners flocked to Asia in search of themselves, Dennis Lingwood set out to search for the Buddha’s teaching in the land that gave birth to Buddhism. Accompanying him in his quest, we can follow his life as a homeless wanderer and witness his ordination as the Buddhist monk Sangharakshita. Although full of fascinating characters and keen insights, The Rainbow Road is not just an entertaining travel book - it is a remarkable record of a journey of spiritual exploration.

‘Non-fiction it may be, but he makes his points with all the finesse and resonance of a novelist.... His deft prose should invite comparison with E.M. Forster’ Times Literary Supplement

The Rainbow Road was originally published in two parts: Learning to Walk and The Thousand-Petalled Lotus.

Wisdom Beyond Words
The Buddhist Vision of Ultimate Reality
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 0904766772
Read by Subhadra

Dangerously disorientating to the unwary student, the Prajnaparamita or Perfection of Wisdom teachings can offer a fast route to some well-trodden blind alleys - or to the very heart of Reality.

Sangharakshita’s clarity, scholarship and insight are revealed in this commentary on the Diamond Sutra, the Heart Sutra and the Ratnagunasamcayagatha - core teachings of Mahayana Buddhism. Using this book as a guide we can begin our own investigation of these sublime teachings - and also perhaps be rewarded with a world-shattering glimpse of the Buddhist vision of ultimate Reality.

a learned but practically oriented commentary ... a down-to-earth ring ... which makes the often lofty ideals of the Mahayana path manageable Traditional Yoga Studies Interactive

Tales of Freedom
Wisdom from the Buddhist Tradition
By Vessantara
ISBN: 1899579273
Read by Subhadra

A Zen monk strides empty handed into a tiger's cage. An Indian master spontaneously empties a bag of gold dust into the air. A young woman lays down the burden of her dead child and asks the Buddha to accept her as his disciple.

Here is another book by the popular author, Vessantara, who takes incidents from the lives of the Buddha, Tibetan mystics and Zen masters and uses them to show how we too can live a more fulfilled life. Full of colourful tales, Vessantara's vivid, imaginative style makes these ancient, well-loved stories inspiring tools for self-development.

The three jewels
The Central Ideals of Buddhism
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 1899579060
Read by Subhadra

Three precious jewels lie at the heart of Buddhism, radiating the light of awakening into the world, the Buddha Jewel: as symbol of Enlightment (the figure of the Buddha), the Dharma jewel: the path to Enlightenment taught by the Buddha, the Sangha jewel, the Enlightened followers of the Buddha down the ages who have truly devoted their lives to his teachings. This book illuminates these precious gems in a clear and radiating light

The Inconceivable Emancipation
Themes from the Vimalakirti-Nirdesa
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 0904766888
Read by Subhadra

Step into the magical, paradoxical world of a Mahayana Buddhist scripture. Mahayana Buddhism, to which the Zen and Tibetan traditions are related, emphasizes the ideal of the Bodhisattva, one who seeks to become Enlightened out of a compassionate desire to help all living beings. In the Vimalakirti-Nirdesa we meet the Bodhisattva Vimalakirti, a worker of wonders, a formidable debater and skillful teacher. Sangharakshita’s commentary illuminates this original text, its myths and symbols, and explores the powerful figure of Vimalakirti and the significance of his teachings. By journeying into this scripture we can find the wisdom and compassion that lie at the heart of the Bodhisattva path and discover, communicate and put into action Vimalakirti’s message

Drama of Cosmic Enlightenment
Parables, Myths, and Symbols of the White Lotus Sutra
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 0904766594
Read by Subhadra

An image or story can mysteriously convey a sense of truth that the most convincing intellectual argument cannot. In the White Lotus Sutra, bursting with symbols, imagery and myths, we meet the Buddha as a story-teller. Indeed, this sutra tells the greatest of all stories, that of human life and human potential. This great story takes the cosmos as its stage and all sentient beings as its players, yet within it lie many tales that address aspects of our lives or personalities. This delightfully illustrated commentary on one of the most influential, revered and well-loved Buddhist scriptures brings these stories vividly to life and shows how they relate to our own spiritual quest.

the way of truth
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 9781899579938
Read by Subhadra

Universal in its message, deep in its teaching, refined simplicity of language.

‘Experiences are preceded by mind, led by mind, and produced by mind. If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness follows like a shadow that never departs.’

The Dhammapada is one of the most popular and influential of Buddhist scriptures. Contained within its short verses are the essential teachings of the Buddha, words to be savoured, reflected upon and revisited.

The Yogi's Joy
Songs of Milarepa
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 1899579664
Read by Subhadra

Experience the magical world of Milarepa. Milarepa was a much-loved Tibetan yogi, poet, and teacher. His ‘hundred thousand songs’ have inspired and guided Buddhist practitioners for centuries, yet examinations of them are few. The Yogi’s Joy explores some of these songs to help show how their lessons are relevant to us today.

Here, three stories — The Tale of Red Rock Jewel Valley, Song of a Yogi’s Joy and The Meeting at Silver Spring — are considered. In them, we find such themes as fear, honesty, self-respect, practising with others, the student-teacher relationship, and how we can make teachings our own. Sangharakshita, Buddhist teacher and writer, draws out these elements, bringing alive the delight, joy – and challenges – of this revolutionary guru.

Who is the Buddha?
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 1899579516
Read by Tejasvini

The image of the Buddha, cross-legged and meditating, appears increasingly in magazines and on television in the West. But who was the Buddha?

Here we see the Buddha as a historical figure, a warrior prince searching for the truth; in the context of the evolution of the human race, as the pinnacle of human perfection, and as an archetype, in the context of both time and eternity.

What is the Dharma?
The Essential Teachings of the Buddha
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 189957901X
Read by Tejasvini

To walk in the footsteps of the Buddha we need a clear and thorough guide to the essential principles of Buddhism. Whether we have just begun our journey or are a practitioner with more experience, What is the Dharma? is an indispensable exploration of the Buddha’s teachings as found in the main Buddhist traditions.

Constantly returning to the question ‘How can this help me?’ Sangharakshita examines a variety of fundamental principles, including:
karma and re-birth,
nirvana and shunyata,
conditioned co-production,
impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and insubstantiality,
ethics, meditation and wisdom.
The result is a refreshing, unsettling, and inspiring book that lays before us the essential Dharma, timeless and universal.

Living with Awareness
A Guide to the Satipatthana Sutta
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 1899579389
Read by Subhadra

Mindfulness is the means by which our consciousness is transformed, transcended, Enlightened.

The Satipatthana Sutta is one of the Buddha’s foremost discourses on mindfulness. In Living with Awareness, a commentary on this sutta, Sangharakshita counsels against an over-narrow interpretation of mindfulness as being simply about developing a focused attention on the present moment. To be fully mindful, one needs to look further than the end of one’s nose, and integrate even the most rarefied practice into the context of a fully lived human life.

The guiding principle of Buddhism is that things change - we change - and that we have the capacity to direct that change towards spiritual growth and development. In being mindful, therefore, we recollect not only the breadth of our current experience, but also our purpose in attending to it. Living with Awareness explores this principle progressively through the filter of the sutta.

Precious Teachers
Indian Memoirs of an English Buddhist
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 1899579788
Read by Subhadra

In this latest addition to his memoirs, Dennis Lingwood, better known as Urgyen Sangharakshita, shares his recollections of the diverse men and women who lived in and passed through Kalimpong, a hill station at the foot of the Himalayas, just
as Tibetan Buddhism began its exodus into India; Tibetan gurus, peasant farmers, tradesmen and travelling academics. A colourful, thoughtful and entertaining panorama of humanity unfolds in this unique collection of reminiscences.

Living Ethically
Advice from Nagarjuna’s Precious Garland
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 9781899579860
Read by Vajragupta

In a world of increasingly confused ethics, Living Ethically looks back over the centuries for guidance from Nagarjuna, one of the greatest teachers of the Mahayana tradition.

Drawing on the themes of Nargarjuna’s famous scripture, Precious Garland of Advice for a King, this book explores the relationship between an ethical lifestyle and the development of wisdom. Covering both personal and collective ethics, Sangharakshita considers such enduring themes as pride, power and business, as well as friendship, love and generosity.

In the Sign of the Golden Wheel
Indian Memoirs of an English Buddhist
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 1899579141
Read by Subhadra

The miracle of the talking calf, rumours of black magic and lamas with ‘supernormal’ powers: Sangharakshita’s third volume of memories is full of curious episodes that could only happen in India.

In the Sign of the Golden Wheel recounts the unique experiences of an English Buddhist monk working in the mid-1950s to revive Buddhism in the land of its birth. From his hermitage in the foothills of the Himalayas, Sangharakshita travels across India to the movie world of Bombay and on to a moving and dramatic climax - addressing hundreds of thousands of ex-Untouchables in thirty mass meetings in just four days, to console and encourage them following the sudden death of their hero, the remarkable Dr Ambedkar, only weeks after their mass conversion to Buddhism. Brimming with life and colour, this book is a notable addition to the world of travel literature as we follow the spiritual adventures of an unorthodox and extraordinary Englishman.

Living with Kindness
The Buddha's teaching on metta
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 1899579648
Read by Satyadaya

Just as a mother would protect her only child at the risk of her own life … let thoughts
of boundless love pervade the whole world. from the Karaniya Metta Sutta

Kindness is one of the most basic qualities we can possess, and one of the most
powerful. In Buddhism it is called metta – an opening of the heart to all that we meet.
Any friendly feeling contains the kernel of metta. It is a seed that is waiting to be
developed, right here amidst the conditions of our daily life.

Living with Kindness is a pithy commentary on the Buddha's teaching of metta in the
Karaniya metta sutta. In it, Sangharakshita, a teacher of Buddhism for over fifty years,
shows us how to cultivate many of the facets of kindness in ordinary, everyday life.
Outlining the nurturing conditions the seed of kindness needs to grow, he encourages
us to follow the path that leads to a warm and expansive heart — and beyond. And
with that heart, we can be happier and more fulfilled in ourselves and empathise with
the joys and sufferings of all living beings.

The Religion of Art
(Sangharakshita Classics)
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 9781899579884
Read by Ratnadhya

In this collection of four essays, Sangharakshita—a Buddhist teacher and poet— discusses how art, like religion, can challenge our perceptions, awareness and experience of truth.

Recounting his own experiences as a young monk and poet, he urges the reader to apply a similar kind of awareness in looking at art to that developed in meditation. In so doing he shows how both have the power to transform the way we see ourselves and the world.

This new edition has been entirely reset and features a timeless new cover and introduction by Dhivan.

Bodhisattva Ideal
Wisdom and Compassion in Buddhism
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 978189957920
Read by Vidyakaya

How can we be happy and at the same time responsive to the suffering of others? It can be done: this is the message of the Bodhisattva ideal. The image of the Bodhisattva, one who wishes to gain Enlightenment for the sake of all beings, lies at the heart of much of Indian, Tibetan and Chinese Buddhism. For one wishing to follow this path, the development of inner calm and positivity that leads to true wisdom is balanced by a genuine and active concern for others which flowers into great compassion. Sustained by a deep understanding gained through meditation and reflection, the Bodhisattva is able to work tirelessly for the benefit of all. Sangharakshita places the ideal of the Bodhisattva within the context of the entire Buddhist tradition. Unfolding this vision of our potential, he demonstrates how we ourselves can move towards this ideal.

Facing Mount Kanchenjunga
An English Buddhist in the Eastern Himalayas
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 9780904766523
Read by Subhadra

This is the second set of memoirs by Sangharakshita.

In 1950 Kalimpong was a lively trading town in the intrigue-ridden corner of India that borders Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim and Tibet. Finding a welcome in this town, nestled high in the mountains, were a bewildering array of guests and settlers: ex-colonial military men, missionaries, incarnate Tibetan lamas, exiled royalty and Sangharakshita, a young English monk attempting to establish a Buddhist movement for local youngsters.

In this delightful volume of memoirs, Sangharakshita shares the incidents and insights of his early years in Kalimpong. These include brushes with the Buddhist ‘establishment’, a meeting with the ‘Untouchables’ saviour Dr B.R. Ambedkar and his friendship with Lama Anagarika Govinda. Behind these events we witness the development of this remarkable young man into an increasingly effective interpreter of Buddhism for a new age.

Buddha Mind
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 9781899579433
Read by Subhadra

We are what we think. Happiness and suffering arise from the way our mind interprets what we see, hear, touch or imagine. Realizing this, we can develop increasing clarity and creativity – qualities perfected in the mind of the Buddha. Sangharakshita challenges us to look at what holds us back from being truly alive to the present moment and offers practical guidance on how to overcome the barriers of habit with energy and awareness.

Moving Against the Stream
The Birth of a New Buddhist Movement
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 9781899579112
Read by Subhadra

In 1964 Sangharakshita, the seniormost Buddhist monk of British birth, left India for a visit to the UK. After twenty years in the subcontinent - travelling and lecturing, writing, working among the most deprived, and extending and deepening his knowledge of the Dharma - he had been invited by leading British Buddhists to help resolve tensions in the British Buddhist scene. While he was trying to ease conflicts and create harmony, an unexpected turn of events brought Sangharakshita to a crucial decision.

This fourth volume of memoirs, covering the years 1964 to 1967, deals with Sangharakshita's return to Britain and describes the difficulties he encountered in his attempts to unite English Buddhists. We witness the turning point at which he decided to dedicate his life to working 'for the good of Buddhism' in his native land. This culminated in the birth (in a shop basement in central London) of a new Buddhist movement. Thirty-six years later the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order is spreading the Buddha's message in more than twenty-six countries around the globe.

A Survey of Buddhism
Its Doctrines and Methods Through the Ages
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 9780904766936
Read by Jinananda & Vidyakaya

A Survey of Buddhism continues to provide an indispensable study of the entire field of Buddhist thought and practice, placing its development in a historical context.

‘I recommend Sangharakshita’s book as the best survey of Buddhism’
Dr Edward Conze, author of Buddhism: Its Essence and Development and translator of Buddhist Wisdom Books and The Perfection of Wisdom in 8,000 Lines

‘...simply the most complete single volume survey of all the major doctrines and traditions in the development of Buddhism.’
Buddhist Peace Fellowship

Teachers of Enlightenment
The Refuge Tree of the Western Buddhist Order
By Kulananda
ISBN: 9781899579259
Read by Dharmacharini Vajragupta

The Refuge Tree is a symbol of the highest ideals of Buddhism, a traditional image in the Tibetan tradition that takes different forms in different schools. On the refuge tree are formal teaches and sages from Buddhism's history. Modern Buddhists might be regarded as heirs to the whole of the Buddhist tradition and the Refuge Tree of the Western Buddhist Order founded by Sangharakshita includes figures from India, Tibet, China and Japan as well as archetypal Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and the teachers whose guidance helped to shape Sangharakshita's understanding of Buddhism. Here a leading member of the Triratna Order introduces each figure on this form of the Refuge Tree and explores their significance for Buddhists in the modern world.

Beating the Drum
Maha Bodhi Editorials
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 9781291109221
Read by Subhadra

Here are 71 editorials written by Sangharakshita for the Maha Bodhi, the Maha Bodhi Society’s monthly journal, during the years 1954 – 64. Beating the Drum contains an introduction, giving valuable background, but it is not included in this recording, only the actual editorials. Sangharakshita lived in India at that time, and he returned to England in 1964. He founded the FWBO, now renamed Triratna, a few years later in London. The editorials bespeak an intensity of vision, a devotion to the Buddha and His Teaching, and a deep-felt concern about people, animals, organisations and nations that together inhabit this planet. During this 10 year period, Buddhism in India made a quantum leap with the mass conversions to Buddhism carried out in 1956 at Nagpur.

Mitra Study Year one
(Foundation Year)
By Year One compiled by Vadanya
Read by Subhadra

Dharma Study Course for Mitras
Year One (Foundation Year).

The text of this Course is available at https://thebuddhistcentre.com/mitra/
and in book form from http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/thebuddhistcentre

There are four years in the Course, but only the first year has been made into an audiobook, so far.

Read by Subhadra

What is a Mitra?

The Sanskrit word ‘Mitra’ simply means ‘friend’. Becoming a Mitra is a
deepening of your friendship with the Triratna Buddhist Order, which
can occur when your commitment to its ideals, values and practices
has reached a certain level. Mitras are people who have made what
we call a ‘provisional’ commitment to practising the Dharma within our
spiritual community. This involves a commitment to Buddhism, to
practising the Buddhist path as taught within our tradition, and to the
Triratna Buddhist Community as the main context for your practice.
We call this level of commitment ‘provisional’ because it is ‘for the
foreseeable future’, rather than the more once-and-for-all dedication of
an Order Member. You are ready to become a Mitra when you decide
that, as far as you can see at the moment, you want to practise this
path, with this spiritual community. You are saying that from where you
are now this looks like the path for you, and you are willing to give it a
good wholehearted trial.
Becoming a Mitra is a significant event in our spiritual lives, so it is
marked by a significant public ceremony, which is a special event at
the Buddhist centre, and to which many people invite their friends and

Early Writings 1944 – 1954
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 978-1-909314-59-7
Read by Subhadra

The articles in this book were first published in a number of different journals. The articles were written over a period of some ten years in the 1940s and 1950s. The exact dates of composition are impossible to determine, but Sangharakshita has been able to recall where he wrote most of them, which allows for an approximate dating. The articles have been arranged in what we hope is the order of writing – based in some cases on intelligent guesswork. And a pattern does seem to emerge. The articles divide into some five periods characterised by place of composition and by authorial name – for in the course of these ten years the author was writing from a number of different countries and publishing under various names and titles. Dennis Lingwood, who, as Sangharakshita, would become renowned, along with others, for bringing Buddhism to the West, and for playing a crucial role in the re-emergence of Buddhism in India, was eighteen years old when he first made his entrance onto the public stage of life. His entry can hardly be called dramatic. He published an article in what for most of his contemporaries was an obscure journal with a small circulation: the Buddhist Society’s bi-monthly The Middle Way. Obscure though it may have been, turning to the May–June 1944 issue we find in ‘The Unity of Buddhism’ an astonishing piece of writing – astonishing not only because of the author’s youth, but because this was someone who had come across the Buddhist teachings for the first time less than two years previously. And yet the author writes with striking confidence and authority. His piece takes in the whole Buddhist tradition, with reference not just to the then more widely-known Pali canon but to the Sanskrit, Nepalese, Chinese and Tibetan canons, to Nagarjuna, Asanga and Vasubandhu. In fact, in this initial article we find Dennis Lingwood giving expression to thoughts and ideas that would become distinctive aspects of the Dharma teaching of Sangharakshita: the fundamental unity of all Buddhist schools, the inspiring ideal of the Bodhisattva, the understanding that Buddhist ethics are founded upon Buddhist metaphysics, and the deeply felt sense that the Dharma taught by the Buddha is for the happiness and benefit of all kinds and conditions of men and women and urgently needed in the modern world.

From Genesis to the Diamond Sutra
A Western Buddhist’s Encounters with Christianity
By Sangharakshita
ISBN: 1899579729
Read by Subhadra

‘I wanted to share my experience, and my reflections on my experience, with those Western Buddhists who, like me, grew up within a Christian culture’.

With considerations of the Bible, Christian mythology and ethics (including its view on sexuality), saints and mystics as well as stories like Barlaam and Josaphat, this book reflects Sangharakshita's breadth of thought and contemplation. Realizing that he was a Buddhist at age 16, Sangharakshita eventually spent 20 years in India. Returning to England, he established Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (1967); Western Buddhist Order (1968). Author of nearly 50 books.


The audio books on this site are free to listen too, but if you wish to make a donation to Windhorse Publications, you can do so by clicking here.

Also consider visiting: